Maxi 30in1 From American Video Entertainment Review

American Video Entertainment, one of the few companies which produced unlicensed games for the Nintendo Entertainment System from 1990 to 1992. In my oppinion AVE was the only unlicensed company which produced decent games, yes i know that Tengen made quite a few cool games but they actually started out as a licensed company.

With more than 23 games, 5 never got released though, with titles such as Dudes with Attitude, Krazy Kreatures, Walley Bear and the No gang and Rad Racket, American Video Entertainment did their best to try to survive in the hard videogame business. But about 2½ year later they went out of business. The last game cartridge from AVE was probably their Maxi 15in1. Though the cartridge is a bit mysterious, because it is copyrighted (1992) by Maxmarketing and the cartridge design has been changed a little bit. If anyone out there know more about this copyright and why it's Maxmarketing, then please let me know.

American Video Entertainment had also planned a Maxi 30in1, but it seems like they went out of business just before it's release, the release date was already official. Anyway here's a preview GamePro made of the MaxiVision 30in1 back in May 1992:American Video Entertainment (413/342-9737), Burlingame CA) put 30 games into the MaxiVision cartridge which packs its multi-game fun into 24megs (two 8meg roms and two 4meg roms). 

MaxiVision is due out in June. AVE dident jump through a lot of hoops to store its games in one cart. It merely reprogrammed existing games to fit into the existing ROM space. A side from some circuitry to support menu-selection and suplement bank switching nessesary to direct the NES CPU to game info, all the games such as Criminal Case Hack are exact duplicates of existing carts.

Infact, twenty-five of the 30 games have been available in their own carts from Color Dreams, American Game Cartridges, and AVE. Walley Bear and the NO! gang is a cute skateboarding game with an anti-drug message (see its ProReview in this issue). Mermaids of Atlantis is an action- oriented puzzle game, where you help fun-loving Mer-people pop high tech bubbles that an evil industrialist has used to surround their games. 

Ultimate League Soccer and Venice Beach Volleyball are two sports games. F-15 City War is an action-packed, jet combat game. Dudes with Attitude and Dudes with Attitude 2 are outrageous treasure hunt games. MaxiVision will cost $149,95. Again, AVE says price per game is where the value is.

Bailouts for your iPhone

PlayScreen Games has released a sort of newsgame for iPhone, a sendup of the recent financial market bailout we know about all too well. Bailout Bonanza is essentially a clone of the classic Activision game Kaboom! -- the player moves or tilts the iPhone to maneuver a bucket at the bottom of the screen, which catches money bags dropped by a Wall Street banker out of a neoclassical financial building. The game is available for 99 cents on the iTunes App Store.
I have real mixed feelings about a game like this. As a proponent of newsgames, I want to encourage experimentation with editorial games. As a sometimes-iPhone developer, I want to encourage commercial release of Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes hack games  on that platform, not just giveaways. 99 cents isn't much to spend, and spending it on clever editorial is a promising way to advance both games and news.The problem is, this game doesn't really satirize or comment upon the bailout. 

If anything, the Kaboom! gameplay feels backwards... the player is supposed to be collecting money the financial sector is "stealing" from them, but the money is falling to the ground out of the hands of the banker. Nor does catching the money bags offer a sense of satisfaction in having quashed the insidious, self-serving plans of the financial sector.The game also points to the issue of timeliness in editorial games. 

Creating an iPhone game like this one is relatively easy, but it still takes more time than making the equivalent Flash game. I don't know how long PlayScreen has been working on the game, but before they managed to get it through Apple approval current events turned more toward the congressional bailout package and then toward mortgage relief legislation. 

Certainly causes for the current recession are very much on everyone's mind, but the bailout of the financial sector is, in a way, old news. PlayScreen told me that they plan to donate 5% of the sales of the game to The United Way in order that "users who are upset at the way the Bailout has been abused can do something for people who really need a helping hand during this economic crises." A nice gesture, although 5% of the 70 cent commission on a 99 cent iTunes purchase is 3.5 cents, so don't let your heart start warming too much.Bailout Bonanza is up against other bailout-themed games in the App Store. 

Bailout World is a weird, broken strategy game that I can't figure out how to play. Bailout Bandits is another Kaboom! clone, in which the player tries to capture executives on golden parachutes. Voodoo Taxman lets you "stick it to the taxman." Auto Bailout is Pong, with the paddles named after players in the automotive labor world. And Bailout! is a stock market simulation game that adds an option to request a government bailout.

We are donating 25% of sales to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.The idea behind the Kaboom-like play is that he's throwing money away and you're trying to save it.I won't do a "news game" on the iPhone again.  The delay in approval is just too much.Also, the 1.3 update is now out, the tilt should be easier to use.Just remember to avoid the shoes.

The game is a homage to KABOOM and other classic games.Note: We're pledging 25% of sales to The Second Harvest Foodbank of Santa Clara and San Mateo.Also the 1.3 update is out and for a limited time the game is free.